To the Editor:
Despite its name, “Woodlore Estates,” the housing development near Routes 31 and 176 by CalAtlantic Homes (now Lennar Homes), is a scene of environmental destruction.
At least half the site of Woodlore Estates was wooded, and the developers described their project as being designed to “save a significant amount of trees.” Consequently, the Crystal Lake City Council commended the developers for their efforts to preserve trees and open space. In reality, however, the project is more detrimental than previous plans due to increased population density, decreased lot sizes, and the related increased environmental impact.
Specifically, all the trees in an area originally mapped as “Preserved Woodland” have been cut down, and the removal of the vegetation has led to flooding in the adjacent neighborhood. The plan also portrayed 50-foot buffer zones maintaining mature vegetation along the borders separating the development from contiguous neighborhoods. These areas are also being clear-cut.
Despite claims by the developers that they are generally just removing brush, scores of decades-old trees are being sacrificed weekly. The topography of the site is also being radically re-sculptured, and this removal of both vegetation and topsoil combined with the re-leveling of the property is creating additional water flow problems.
The Crystal Lake City Council and the Planning & Zoning Commission have been complicit in this rampant environmental destruction by redefining project elements and downplaying the significance of what is being wrought.
Meredith Reid Sarkees